SCENE January 1993

Table of Contents

NSCEE Becomes a Member of MECCA

UNLV/NSCEE became a member of the Model Evaluation Consortium for Climate Assessment, or MECCA, on December 10, 1992. MECCA is an international consortium of universities, industry, government agencies and public interest groups.

MECCA was formed to address the range of uncertainties associated with the prediction of future climates using state-of-the-art Global Circulation Models (GCM's).

GCM's that simulate atmospheric processes are highly complex computer programs involving thousands of equations and dozens of variables. The NSCEE will complement the MECCA numerical laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). MECCA numerical laboratories at NCAR and NSCEE will support researchers worldwide who are seeking to improve climate modeling and GCM reliability.

Convex Ready for Friendly User Access

Michael Ekedahl, Senior Systems Analyst

On Monday November 23, power was supplied to the NSCEE's new Convex C220. The Convex passed all hardware diagnostic tests. At this time, ConvexOS version 10.1 has been installed, and the machine is conected to the NSCEE network through Ethernet and FDDI. The network name for the Convex is

The NQS queues, fair share scheduler, mail, and other utilities will be similar to the Cray system. We expect to allow qualified friendly user access to the machine after January 15, 1993.

Users will find the Convex to have the look and feel of other NSCEE machines. The behavior of the NQS system is quite similar to the NQS system found on the Cray. Utilities like Emacs and Perl are also available for general use.

The Application Visualization System (AVS), the state-of-the-art visualization system, is available on the Convex.

New NSCEE Phone Numbers

On January 1, 1993 the prefix for all NSCEE phone numbers will become 895. This change will affect both data lines and non-data lines.

Future NSCEE Workshops

Call 895-4153 to find out about dates and times and to reserve a seat (seating is limited).

Strategic Environmental Research Development Program

The National Supercomputing Center for Energy and the Environment is soliciting proposals in support of the Strategic Environmental Research and pevelopment Program (SERDP). This program provides supercomputer support for atmospheric modeling and analysis in support of global environmental change which has been identified as a key component of the SERDP. In September 1992, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the NSCEE signed a three-year cooperative agreement to provide supercomputing support to the SERDP.

Proposals should delineate the modeling activity, numerical experiment and/or analysis concept and its relation to the SERDP. A schedule of work and Cray YMP time requested must be provided. Specific details of how modelling or analysis relates to SERDP goals must be provided in the proposal. Proposals may be submitted for a duration of up to two years.

The deadline for submission of the second round of proposals is April 1, 1993. Computing resources will be allocated on a first-come first-serve basis. Submit six (6) copies of proposals (not to exceed five (5) pages in length), and your resume. More information on the SERDP program is available from the NSCEE at:

Cray Research IRIS Explorer 1.0

Sam West, Cray Research, Inc.

NSCEE will soon have a copy of the Cray Research IRIS Explorer software for evaluation. This product is a visually-based, object-oriented application building environment that operates in conjunction with the Silicon Graphics, Inc. IRIS Explorer software to form the "Explorer environment."

The Cray Research IRIS Explorer product is composed of a remote execution environment and remote module library. The remote execution environment provides the distributed processing mechanisms for modules that run on the Cray Research system. The remote module library consists of modules that can be used in creating distributed applications.

The Cray Research IRIS Explorer product is similar to AVS, Khoros, and apE, allowing users to construct programs by linking visual icons. Explorer provides a new way to build applications through the modular writing and sharing of code. SGI markets IRIS Explorer as an easy-to-use environment that "blurs the line between writing and using applications." Without writing any code, computational scientists and engineers can quickly and easily integrate their existing datasets and algorithms to build new applications or tailor existing ones. Visualization functionality may be integrated into the application at any stage.

The Cray Research IRIS Explorer product supports a variety of application areas including computational chemistry, computational fluid dynamics, electromagnetics, geophysical/ seismic analysis, reservoir simulation, finite element analysis, medical imaging, remote sensing, meteorological analysis, and visualization.

Convex Application Visualization System

Rick Brown, NSCEE Staff

Convex Application Visualization System, or ConvexAVS, is available on the Convex C-220. AVS is a powerful information visualization and animation package. AVS is designed to allow scientists to model data without requiring extensive programming knowledge. The program is accessed through four main sub-systems and their associated modules. These sub-systems and modules are button oriented which makes designing a network on AVS very easy. The subsystems are the

The Image Viewer is a high-level tool for displaying, manipulating and viewing images.

The Graph Viewer is a high-level tool for graphing data by creating either XY linear or contour plot graphs.

Geometry Viewer allows you to manipulate and view one or more 3-D objects. The objects must have been created by programs or AVS modules which use the geometry programming library. You can transform the objects themselves, change the viewing parameters and control the way in which the graphical images are rendered.

The Network Editor is a visual programming interface for connecting computational modules together into networks that perform visualization functions. Networks can be created, tested and revised using the Editor.


Matthew Au, Graduate Research Assistant

Ingrid is a program from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories that generates three-dimensional meshes for modeling nonlinear systems. It is used to generate for use in other finite element analysis programs. Input into ingrid is concise and easy to learn, igrid outputs its resluts in file formats readable by DYNA3D, NIKE3D, FACET, and TOPAZ3D and can also generate postscript files. Shown in Figure 1 is the geometry for a reactor vessel. The ingrid input file to generate this geometry is very short and simple:

Ingrid, Topaz, Taurus, Dyna, Nike, and V-Tough are available on all NSCEE machines.

Figure 1: Geometry for a reactor vessel.

Visual Computing, Showcase and Workshop

Silicon Graphics, Inc.

On December 8, 9, and 10 the NSCEE and SGI sponsored a visual computing showcase. Four SGI tutorial sessions, a Cray/SGI Seminar, and an ESRI seminar were offered. Silicon Graphics also brought their "magic bus" to the UNLV campus for display to the public.

The SGI tutorial sessions covered in-depth real world modeling examples. They were presented on the SGI Indigo workstation. These sessions were attended by professionals for orgaizations such as the EPS, Mountain Diagnostics, REECO, EG&G, Desert Research Institute, and UNLV faculty and students.

One of the workshops showcased the ESRI ARC/INFO software on the SGI machines.

On Thursday, December 10, a Cray/SGI seminar demonstrated examples of the MPGS (Multi Purpose Graphic System) running on an SGI workstation networked with the NSCEE Cray Y-MP 2/216. Another session demonstrated the Cray Research IRIS Explorer 1.0.

Another workshop is being planned for sometime during January/February 1993. Stay Tuned!

SBU, System Billing Units

Sam West, Cray Research, Inc.

The accounting system maintains a large number of counts of events and times and quantities associated with a running process. A relatively small subset of those counts is used in the calculation of basic SBUs.

Specifically, they are the following:

The formulae used to compute SBUs are:

SBU = P_BASIC * ((P_TIME * (P_XTIME * cputime + P_ITIME * iowtime))
      + (P_MEM * (P_XMEM * cpumem + P_IMEM * iowmem))
      + (P_I0 * (P_BYTEIO * bytes + P_PHYIO * phy + P_LOGIO * log)))

SBU += P_CONN * connect time.


notes: * a DD-49 disk drive can perform I/O at a maximum rate of 9.6 Mbytes/sec. Assuming that the drive can be kept busy 100% of the time for 1 hour, this number represents the maximum I/O that could be achieved in 1 hour.

** since there is no scaling factor for connect time charges. this quantity represents the charge for connect time that results in the desired percentage for the calculation of connect time in an sbu minus three percent.


In the following example, the ja( 1) command output for a given user command execution is listed. This example does not include connect time SBUs.

note: billable cpu time is the sum of User CPU Time and System CPU Time.

The following conversions need to be performed from the ja(l) output, Data Transferred is given in MWords. This needs to be converted to bytes (multiply by 1024*1024*8). The Memory Integrals are given in Mword-seconds. These need to be converted to Kword-minutes (multiply by 1024/60).

SBU = ((P_TIME * (P_XTIME * p_cputime + P_ITIME * p_iowtime)) +
      (P_MEM * (P_XMEM * p_cpumem + P_IMEM * p_iowmem)) +
      (P_I0 * (P_BYTEIO * p_bytes + P_PHYIO * p_phy + P_LOGIO * p_log)))

= ((.75 * (1.0/3600 * (5106.7059 + 469.9132) + 1.0/3600 * (36357.5529)) +
  (.15 * (1.0/1024/60 * 25765.2914 * (1024/60) + 1.0/1024/60 * 168072.7126 * (1024/60))) +
  ( .07 * (1.0/9600000/3600 * 13299.8498 * (1024*1024*8) + 0.0 * 9232 + 0.0 * 51190)))

(note - for simplification of future approximate calculations the following decimal multipliers can be used:

instead of recomputing all the fractions.)

So, the above calculation yields:

General Information

Dialing-In via Modem

For users with terminals, or personal computers, connection to the NSCEE telephone modems can be accomplished with a modem or through the campus network. The modem and communication software must be set for no parity, 8 bits per character, 1 stop bit and 1200, 2400, or 9600 baud.

To access NSCEE Computers you initially dial in to one of our modems at:

895-4154 (300 - 9600 baud modems), or
895-4155 (for the 1200 or 2400 baud modems).

When your computer responds with CONNECT 1200, CONNECT 2400, or CONNECT 9600, slowly hit the [enter] key a few times.

You will soon be connected and receive the prompt:


At this point, type in the command:

	rlogin hostname

to access any of the systems on the NSCEE network. The host names are given below.

	Example: rlogin

The following list contains the desired host names for the computers in the Center and their IP numbers. All would fall under the domain name of ""

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NSCEE Directory

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